By North-west correspondent Alex Stevens

Manchester United failed with a £30.8million bid for Benfica sensation Renato Sanchez in the January window, according to his agent Jorge Mendes.

The 18-year-old attacking midfielder has burst onto the scene this season, delivering a number of impressive performances for the Portugese club.

United made a move after Sanchez signed a new five-and-a-half-year contract in December that ties him to Benfica until 2021.

Super-agent Mendes, whose clients include Cristiano Ronaldo and Jose Mourinho, told Portugese newspaper O Jogo that United tabled a £30.8m bid for Sanches, who had been dubbed the ‘next Ronaldinho’.

Mendes confirmed that United were willing to meet Benfica’s £46.1million valuation, but split between up front payments and performance-related bonuses.

However, the Portuguese side refused the offer because they want the money up front.

Sanches currently has a £60.9m release clause in his contract, but it’s likely that United will be able to do business for less than that come the summer.

The teenager has established a solid reputation in Portugal, hitting two goals in his 13 league matches this season and also appearing in two Champions League fixtures.